In response to the posts, “Get Your Own E-Mail and Cell Phone,” a reader writes,
“Pay close attention to Cain on the cell phone and e-mail issue. Though these issues haven’t bit me yet, here is the point. It does not matter that you have a great message and that you are right. It does not matter that your ideas are sound, researched based, reflect best practices, and that you have the data to prove it. After teachers find out they can’t fight the message, they will attack the messenger. They don’t need much to attack you. If they can’t dig up cell phone bills or emails, they will make it up. If they don’t make something up, they will simply say about you, “she doesn’t respect us,” or “she makes us feel insignificant”. After a few months of this negative spin to the community, hang on.”
When I’m working with schools that are in crisis and we are having to force change at an uncomfortable pace, there is a bright sign that lets me know that we have turned a corner. When we start the improvement process, the attacks generally center on the need, strategy, or pace. When the malcontents start to attack you personally, that means you’ve won the battle of need, strategy, and pace. All that is left to is to attack the messenger. The key is to not take it personally, stay on message and keep pushing.
The first thing I tell anyone that finds themselves in a change leadership role is, “If you need a friend over the course of the next year, get a dog.” The second thing is to keep reminding yourself, “This is why they pay me the medium sized bucks.”
Think. Work. Achieve.